One thing I have never understood is why celebrities in nonacademic fields are granted de facto intellectual respect on the various issues of the day. What makes the opinion of an actor, or an athlete, or a singer, on world events any more valid, and worthy of our attention, than the opinion of the average guy at the bus stop?
From the nonsensical jabber spewing from some of thier mouths, we might easily conclude that the opinion of the guy at the bus stop has more value. Chuck Norris's recent screed on the recent school shootings is a perfect case in point.
Much of the criticism of society from the religious right follows the same pattern: take any tragedy that occurs and, without any kind of data or cross cultural analysis, proclaim that if everyone would simply believe as they do, said problem would disappear. Their thought process models exactly the lunatic who tells you to wear a tinfoil hat to avoid the sickness rays of the aliens, and then when you do get sick, proclaims "I told you so". And of course, never mind that he gets sick too.
With that perspective in tow, take in Chuck Norris' brilliant analysis of the school shootings:
"As I've said in different ways in different settings, we teach our children they are nothing more than glorified apes, yet we don't expect them to act like monkeys. We place our value in things, yet expect our children to value people. We disrespect one another, but expect our children to respect others. We terminate children in the womb, but are surprised when children outside the womb terminate other children. We push God to the side, but expect our children to be godly. We've abandoned moral absolutes, yet expect our children to obey the universal commandment, 'Thou shall not murder.' As James Madison once wrote, 'Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty, as well as the abuses of power.'"
Gee, where do we start? How about noting all the countries in Europe and elsewhere who want little to do with Norris' god and its moral absolutes, who teach evolutionary science unapologetically, and who have safe legal abortion, and yet have nowhere near the kinds of problems with violence that we do? We might also remind Chuck that the nobel ape does not kill it's own at near the proportions we do, especially compared to the murder rates of the pious. Morally speaking, they should be offended at being compared to us, not the other way around. Norris is experiencing ape hatred.
And just where does Norris get the idea that "Thou shall not murder" is a universal commandment? Yahweh had Moses and his merry band murder by the thousands, and that was after Yahweh asked Abraham to murder his own son, and of course let's not forget Yahweh murdering every non-Noahan on the planet, and finally, having his own son murdered to pay a blood price Yahweh set up in the first place. Yahweh would get along well with that character from Dark Angelwho chants "I come in peace" while murdering everyone in sight. What's next, a person whose fortune and fame were made from committing, or pretending to commit, multiple acts of violence calling for nonviolence?